Question: Aren’t the following pieces of information, which circulate on the Internet, wrong?
1. According to the Hanafi Madhhab, if the color of the blood discharged from those women over the age of 55 is dark red or black, it is considered menstrual blood. If it is in any different color, it is not considered menstrual blood.
2. If a woman experiences two menstrual periods of the same number in two successive months, a normative length for her menses has been established. Afterwards, if she, in any month, sees bleeding that lasts for more than or less than her norm, then her norm in menstruation will be taken as the standard. The days that are above or below her norm will not be taken into account.
3. When a woman is menstruating, all the days of purity in between, without exception, are counted as days of menstrual bleeding.
4. If a woman stops menstruating before 10 days are over, she cannot engage in sexual intercourse before taking a ghusl (purificatory bath) or before one prayer (salat) time passes over her. If her menstrual bleeding stops when 10 days are up, she can have sexual intercourse with her husband even before taking a ghusl.
5. If a woman who suffers from months-long bleeding does not know for sure what pattern of menses she had before the beginning of this condition, she should act on what she most predominantly believes to be the duration of her usual menstrual period. If she does not know anything at all about her pattern of menses, she should consider 6 days of every month to be her menstrual period and the remaining days to be her purity period.
The following ones are their correct forms:
1. All kinds of blood discharged from an ayisa are considered istihada (non-menstrual bleeding), not menstrual blood. Ayisa means an old woman who is on menopause. The age for menopause is 50 according to the Hanbali Madhhab, 55 according to the Hanafi Madhhab, 60 according to the Shafi’i Madhhab, and 70 according to the Maliki Madhhab. The blood released after these ages is considered to be istihada, not the blood of menstruation.
2. Experiencing a valid period of menstruation for one time only suffices for a woman to have a norm in her menses. If a woman who has had regular periods for, say, 2 or 12 successive months sees menstrual period the next time whose number is different from her previous period, the duration of her menses is considered to have changed if the blood has flowed for less than 10 days. For example, if a woman who habitually has menses for 6 days every month sees blood for 7 days the next time, her menses will extend to 7 days. If she bleeds for 6 days the following month, it will decrease to 6 days once again. If blood flows for more than 10 days, then she will go by the regular pattern she previously had. For example, if blood flows for 12 days, the duration of her menses is considered 6 days.
3. There are cases in which days of purity between bleedings, nay, days of bleeding themselves, are regarded as menstrual and sometimes non-menstrual. Supposing a woman has a pattern of menstruation that lasts for 7 days. If she, the next time, bleeds for 3 days and does not see blood for 2 days and bleeds for 2 days, all 7 days are considered to be menstrual period. However, if she bleeds for 3 days and does not see blood for 3 days and bleeds for 1 day and does not see blood for 2 days and bleeds for 2 days, the last 2 days of purity and 2 days of bleeding are counted as istihada. Her menstrual period is considered to be 7 days.
4. Supposing a woman habitually has menses for 7 days. If she bleeds for 7 days as usual the next month, she is allowed to engage in sexual intercourse without taking a ghusl, and then she takes a ghusl and performs salat. If her usual menstrual period lasts for 7 days and the blood has stopped flowing on day 5 the next month, she takes a ghusl and performs salat. However, she cannot have sexual intercourse with her husband until day 7 is over because there is a possibility that the bleeding may return to her and continue to flow until she completes 7 days. If blood starts flowing after day 7, she cannot perform salat or engage in sexual intercourse because there is a possibility that the length of her menses may change. If blood ceases completely after flowing for 9 days, her new period is considered to have lengthened to 9 days.
5. If a woman suffers from months-long bleeding and does not know what pattern of menses she had prior to the start of this condition, she should consider 10 days to be menstrual period and the next 20 days to be purity period. If she knows her pattern of menses, then the duration of her usual menstrual period is considered to be her menstrual period. It is not written in any of the credible Islamic books that she should consider 6 days to be the duration of her menses. According to the madhhabs of Shafi’i and Maliki, if she does not know her pattern of menses, she should consider 15 days to be her menstrual period and the next 15 days to be her purity period.